Archive for the ‘Cookbooks’ Category

You’ve gotta love a cookbook that makes you smile—even laugh—as you read it. Rebecca Katz’s The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen is food for the soul.

The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery

I picked it up a few weeks ago on the recommendation of some other Bauman College grads. I don’t have cancer or know anyone close to me who does, but that doesn’t matter in the least. Rebecca’s recipes for delicious, nourishing fare are perfect for anyone seeking to eat healthfully and support their immune system—whether they have cancer or not.

Along with the tasty recipes and sensational photographs in the book, Rebecca’s writing is a delight to read. Riddled with humorous stories and plenty of culinary and kitchen tips, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen presents healthful cuisine in an engaging and “easily digestable” package. While the book caters to the physical needs of those undergoing cancer treatment or recovery, the recipes will tickle the tastebuds of foodies both ill and healthy alike.

I’m particularly eager to try the Thai It Up Chicken Soup, Middle Eastern Chickpea Burgers, and Mediterranean Lentil Salad. Before I get to any of these, however, I want to share with you an adaptation I made of Rebecca’s Anytime Bars.

In the headnotes of the recipe, Rebecca writes:

“The great thing about this recipe is that you can change the ingredients to fit your taste preferences. You can even split the batter and make half with currants and cranberries and the other half with walnuts or whatever you’d like.”

I took her advice and shook up the recipe a little bit to my tastes, including making them gluten-free. The results are scrumptious—er, were scrumptious. They’re long gone already…and it won’t be long before I’m making another batch.


Hallie’s Energy Bars – makes 20 bars

(Inspired by the Anytime Bars found in The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen)

 1/4 cup millet flour

2 tbs. flaxseed meal

Pinch of sea salt

1/8 tsp. baking powder*

1/8 tsp. baking soda*

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup raw, whole almonds

3/4 cup raw pecan halves

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup quinoa flakes or gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup (loosely packed) medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped

1 cup (loosely packed) dried Turkish apricots, roughly chopped

1 egg

3 tbs. honey or maple syrup

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, process the millet flour, flaxseed meal, salt, baking powder and soda, and cinnamon until combined. Add almonds, pecans, and seeds and pulse 5-6 times to chop coarsely. Add quinoa flakes, dates, and apricots and pulse 10-15 times until everything is chopped and incorporated. (Mixture should still be fairly coarse.)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and honey. Stir in the nut and fruit mixture until evenly moistened. Press into an even layer in the prepared 9×9 baking dish. Bake at 325-degrees for 20-25 minutes until set and lightly golden brown on top. Cool completely in pan, then cut into 20 squares.

Bars will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days or refrigerated for 5-7 days.

*Note: I do not have an eighth-teaspoon measuring utensil—I don’t even know if they make those! So I just used half of a quarter-teaspoon and it worked perfectly.


Hungry for more cookbook recommendations? Check out my post on Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors. Find more great recipes for healthy food at Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.



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Cover Image

It’s rare to come across a cookbook where the recipes, photographs and stories capture such attention and evoke such a desire to get in the kitchen and cook that you simply can’t resist cracking open the book in your every spare moment to ooh-and-ahh over the pages. Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors is one such masterpiece.

The book is an artful combination of recipes and musings illuminating the brilliance of America’s farmers’ markets. Madison aligns the chapters of the book with the seasons, beginning with spring’s plentiful greens and ending with storage foods—foods that keep through the winter. The book jacket sums up Local Flavors perfectly:

“By going behind the scenes to speak with the farmers and producers, Deborah Madison connects readers directly with the people who grow their food. Full-color photographs of gorgeous produce, mouthwatering dishes, and evocative scenes from the markets will entice readers to cook from the  farmers’ market as often as possible.”

I’ve already made a handful of recipes from the book, including Harriet’s Hot Roasted Cauliflower (who knew roasted cauliflower could be so good?) and a variation on the Chickpea Salad with Coriander and Cumin. I’m aching to try the Pea and Spinach Soup with Coconut Milk, but might get to the White Beans with Black Kale and Savoy Cabbage first.

To be honest, I don’t know if there’s a recipe in this book that doesn’t look good. (As I’m flipping through the cookbook now I’ve just come across the Three-Beet Caviar with Endive and Goat Cheese, which really contains no caviar at all. The beets themselves are the caviar, and the photograph is making me swoon.)

With nothing but farmers’ market abundance ahead in the next six or seven months, Local Flavors will be one of my go-to sources for inspiration of what to make with all of the treasures stacked high at the market. There’s nothing more satisfying to me, both physically and spiritually, than taking the gems of the earth—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes—and transforming them into delicious and nourishing dishes both sweet and savory. Produce itself is inspiring with its vast array of colors, textures and flavors. But I love it when I stumble upon a book like this one that harnesses all of those colors, textures and flavors and heightens them to a new level of deliciousness.

Madison writes in the epilogue of her book,

“We need to use our markets deeply if farmers are to continue to farm and we are to continue to eat well in the deepest sense, being nourished by our immediate landscape and community. How fortunate that meeting this need is one of the most pleasurable obligations we can assign ourselves.”

I couldn’t agree more.


In other news…

Have you checked out the round up of guiltless gluten-free recipes yet over at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free? The March theme for the “Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free” blog carnival inspired some of the best bloggers on the web to come up with creative and delicious gluten-free pleasures made a little bit healthier. I entered Two-Bite Pistachio and Chocolate Chip Cakes. Head on over here to see the 30+ other gluten-free entries!

I also wanted to share some info with you all about an interesting film project I heard about recently. The movie, FRESH, is designed to highlight and celebrate the farmers, thinkers, and business people in America who are changing the face of our food system. FRESH is all about re-inventing the way we eat in this country and emphasizing the importance of small farms, local food, and sustainable agriculture. For more information about this exciting project or to view the trailer, visit the website.

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